Having sent a card earlier this year to one of our most senior Old Bedfordians, Tony Praat (23-33), to congratulate him on reaching the impressive age of 100, we were very pleased to receive news of him! His daughter Susan, not only sent us over a photo of him sporting a blazer with the School’s crest and holding his birthday card from the Queen (pictured), she also told us a little more about his life.
Born on 27th July 1916, Tony started at Bedford School in the Inky aged six, along with his elder brother Hubert. He was always happy at Bedford and represented the School at Cricket and Golf as well as proving to be a good pianist.
OB Golfers will be particularly interested that Tony played in the Halford Hewitt Tournament in Deal on 14th April 1939. He was partnered by R Plumley. The Old Bedfordians beat the Watsonians in the first round and then lost to Blundells.
After leaving School, Tony qualified as a dental surgeon and started on a further course to study medicine before WW2 intervened. Marrying his wife, Renee Esme Thompson in 1941, Tony served with the RAF until the end of the war. He then opened a dental practice in Dovercourt, Essex, before moving to Devon in 1955. Upon retiring in 1976, Tony served on the committees of various local charities.
Tony has a daughter, two grandsons and three great grandchildren and is now living contentedly in an excellent care home in Crediton, Devon.